Company seeks exclusive right to names at Grand Canyon

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Company seeks rights to names of iconic Grand Canyon lodges.

Phantom Ranch, Bright Angel Lodge, El Tovar — all bring to mind a place coveted worldwide for its sweeping views, river rapids and history told though layers of geology. Deciding on the trademarking the Grand Canyon lodge names is a difficult task for the National Park Service, but the Xanterra Parks & Resorts proposal might gain approval.

A Grand Canyon concessionaire is seeking to take control of the names of the park’s famous historic lodges, which have become an iconic part of perhaps the most famous geological formation in the world. A Park Service spokesman said he only knew of two other parks where companies had attempted to trademark names: Yosemite in California and Hot Springs in Arkansas.

Xanterra’s contract to manage hotels, restaurants, and mule rides in the South Rim expired in December, although it won a temporary contract and will be able to bid on a new one sometime this year. Xanterra is likely seeking the trademarks in order to block competition for future contracts by providing the implicit threat that if it doesn’t get the contract, it may charge a fee for using the names or yank them altogether, according to the report.

While the Park Service isn’t sure yet whether it would oppose Xanterra’s bid, it does intend to include language in future contracts that will stipulate how names and logos associated with the park can be used. Experts say the intent of the trademark applications is clear: to stifle competition for the upcoming concessions contract or earn money for the value Xanterra has created in the names.

She rejected efforts to name it Roosevelt’s Chalets. “We’ll all get used to a new name if it comes to that, but how far down on the mat will these companies go to squeeze every nickel out of it?” Ranney said. “This is a heritage that belongs to all of us.

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